For Gifted People, Life Is Like A Candy Store–With Too Many Treats to Choose


Life is like a candy store–filled with every treat imaginable.

It seems that being in a place like a giganitic candy store would be the greatest experience imaginable.  In reality, however, that is not entirely true. A candy store requires its patrons to make some choices; and speaking at least for myself, deciding what to buy and what not to buy can become a distasteful dilemma.


Anyone who has been confronted with a large Whitman Sampler has encountered a bit of the situation.  As you open the box, many of the cubes look almost identical, but it only takes a nibble to discover that all bonbons are not created equally,  and what if the Candy Police are watching you?

What if the Candy Police Are Watching You?

You can’t put that half-eaten bite of chocolate back.  No poking the candy for clues is allowed.  At some time in your past, you were probably told that you could only pick one or maybe a few sweets, and that rule follows you like a shadow.  Now you have wasted one of your choices on a brown morself that tastes like cardboard and chews like alligator jerky.   What a let-down.  The box of candy has become a disappointment.

Candy stores are much larger than boxes of chocolate; and life itself is billions times larger than a mere candy store.  For some of us with big eyes and appetites, candy store-like life presents far too many choices and not enough time or money to develop the choices that we make.

When the talent tree is shaken around gifted children, it rains all kinds of artsy seeds.

For many, many years, I have taught art to some of the most talented children imaginable. Invariably, the kids who are good at drawing and painting are also good in academics.  They are good writers, and they are also excellent musicians, dancers, and singers.  When the talent tree is shaken around gifted children, it rains all kinds of artsy seeds.  Then the child is expected to grub around what is dropped and choose one—maybe two things that he most wants to do. That is an almost impossible choice to make.

I have taught long enough that people call me, asking me if I will teach their “gifted” child. I have gotten to the point that when I hear the parent say that his child is gifted, I think to myself, “I’m sorry.”

Being gifted is as much a burden as it is a blessing

Being gifted is like being born in a candy store.  To most people, it would seem that the gifted is the most fortunate person alive.  Yet, in my experience, being gifted is as much a burden as it is a blessing.  The gifted person sees many diamonds in the rough.

He can’t drive down the street on garbage day without noting at least 10 potential sculptures in peoples’ trash.  The gifted person is afraid to throw anything away, because as soon as he does, he realizes what he could have made out of this bit of garbage or another.

I can’t believe I ate the whole thing!

A truly gifted person finds it very difficult to settle on one thing to do, contenting himself with the mastery of only one art form, thus discarding his other options.

In my own experience, I want to do it all, and I have tried making art with almost every medium.  It is an exciting life.  I NEVER get bored, but I am not as good at anything as I should be.  I spread myself too thin for that.  Since my name is Jacki, I long ago realized that I am a Jacki of all trades–and naturally, a master of none.  I am not whining.  It has been fun.  But I do often wonder how life might have been, if I had begun it with a few less interests–with just a few pieces of candy, instead of half a store.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Life’s a Candy Store.”


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